Soft Turf No Problem for Kingman in Marois
Photo: John Gilmore
Kingman and jockey James Doyle win the Prix Jacques Le Marois.
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Kingman took to the less than ideal turf conditions at Deauville Aug. 17 and further bolstered his rank as Europe's top miler with a comfortable win in the Prix du Haras de Fresnay-Le-Buffard Jacques Le Marois (Fr-I).
 
With his latest victory, Kingman earned an automatic starting berth in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) Nov. 1 at Santa Anita Park. Trainer John Gosden indicated, however, that Kingman will point to the Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Eng-I) on QIPCO British Champions Day Oct. 18 at Ascot.
 
Despite his connections' concerns that the ground conditions might be too soft, Juddmonte Farms' 3-year-old son of Invincible Spirit uncoiled a devastating burst of acceleration for James Doyle in the final furlong and sped clear to a 2 1/4-length triumph over closing runner-up Anodin
 
Olympic Glory, last year's runner-up in the race, finished a length back in third after challenging pacesetter Red Dubawi for the lead over a furlong out.
 
Doyle settled Kingman at the back of the compact field of five as Red Dubawi took charge early and laid down a muddling tempo through six furlongs with Olympic Glory tracking just behind with Frankie Dettori. 
 
As the quarter-mile mark approached, Dettori continuously glancing between his legs to access the competition, moved Olympic Glory to challenge to the outside of the leader over a furlong out. The two matched strides as Doyle brought Kingman up on the far outside.
 
With powerful strides, the winner edged past Olympic Glory and Red Dubawi and secured the victory. Anodin charged along the inside to take second in the final 100 yards. 
 
Kingman was timed in 1:41.90 as the 2-5 favorite on soft turf. He earned a fourth consecutive group I win and second straight against older runners following his one-length triumph over Toronado in the July 30 QIPCO Sussex Stakes (Eng-I) at Goodwood. Prior to that, he captured the St. James's Palace Stakes (Eng-I) June 17 at Royal Ascot and the Tattersalls Irish Two Thousand Guineas (Eng-I) May 24 at the Curragh. 
 
Gosden told Racing Post that after he and Juddmonte racing manager Teddy Grimthorpe walked the course several times at Deauville, the decision to start Kingman in the Jacques Le Marois was ultimately made by Juddmonte owner Khalid Abdullah. 
 
"It was Prince Khalid's decision to run which made it pretty easy for me," Gosden said. "I thought he quickened well because it's very difficult to get out of this ground. He wasn't in love with the ground but his class showed."
 
Filly Rizeena finished fourth and Red Dubawi faded to finish last.
 
Kingman, who is out of the Juddmonte's French classic winner Zenda, by Zamindar, has a 7-1-0 record from eight career starts, his only defeat coming as the close runner-up to Night of Thunder in the QIPCO Two Thousand Guineas (Eng-I) May 3 at Newmarket. He avenged that loss by defeating that rival in the St. James's Palace Stakes. 
 

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